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A good idea but chronically underfunded

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 31 Mar 2016

Australian Greens Leader and former public health doctor, Senator Richard Di Natale, today said the government’s new chronic illness package has acknowledged the right problem but allocated the wrong resourcing.

“Improving coordinated care for people with chronic illness is sorely needed but the government’s proposed trial is light on detail and funding,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Based on the Minister’s comments this morning, a funding commitment equal to $340 per patient appears to be woefully inadequate.

“It will still be cheaper for a patient to go to hospital than to see a physiotherapist. And the Turnbull Government’s attempts to wash its hands of any responsibility for funding hospitals will leave it with no real incentive to drive change across the health system because it can just shift costs onto the states.

“We need better coordination in primary care but it won’t work if it’s not funded properly.

“The Greens have a plan to invest in our health. Unlike the Turnbull Government the Greens are not afraid to take on powerful vested interests and raise the revenue we need to invest in primary care, hospitals and dental.”

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